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Archive for ‘Substantive Law: Legislation’

Defining Essential Travel During the Pandemic

Like most countries around the world, Canada introduced early travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions are necessary to limit the spread of the virus, and become increasingly important as new strains are being identified and also being brought into Canada.

In March 2020, the Canadian government began imposing restrictions on travel, initially to allow for citizens, permanent residents, international students on a valid study permit, transiting passengers, and temporary foreign workers, to enter the country.

By May 2020, foreigners who were exempt from the travel restrictions had to demonstrate that the purpose was for an essential reason. At . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

New Privacy Concerns With Deep Nudes

In the back pages of comic books, there was often a curious advertisement. One which purported to sell x-ray glasses, which would allow the user to see through things.

Although first patented in 1906, these novelty items simply created an optical illusion and involved no x-rays at all. This didn’t prevent many young readers from purchasing, with the intent of being up to no good. Roger Luckhurst explains in “X-Ray Specs,”

As anyone who spent a dollar (plus postage and packing) on mail order X-Ray Specs came bitterly to learn, Röntgen’s x rays were not involved in

. . . [more]
Posted in: Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Remedies for Visitor Visa Refusals

The Temporary Resident Visa application (a.k.a. Visitor Visa) system is broken. This is not a controversial statement. Currently, the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration is in the midst of reviewing the system and, in particular, section 179 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Regulations (IRPR). I gave testimony and they have heard from many experts. Officers often abuse their discretionary powers per R179 which may cause extreme hardship for applicants and their families. Over the past few years, Canada has developed a reputation of being extremely difficult for visitors, even for individuals who want to reunite with Canadian . . . [more]

Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Cheifetz, Apportionment of Fault (1981) – PDF Available

Apportionment of Fault In Tort (1981) – David Cheifetz

An unrestricted PDF of Cheifetz, Apportionment of Fault in Tort is now available. The text has been out of print for about 2 decades.

The “price”, for Canadian purchasers, will be a donation of CDN $20 to either the Toronto Hospital for Sick Children or the Vancouver Children’s Hospital. Purchasers from other countries should chose a suitable children’s hospital or equivalent in their jurisdictions.

If you want the PDF: Send a request to me at with a copy of the donation confirmation and the email address to which you want . . . [more]

Posted in: Announcements, Legal Information, Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Miscellaneous, Practice of Law, Practice of Law: Practice Management, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Adieu, Adieu, Adieu, Le Fax Machine

Your time has come, Dear Fax Machine, Though your reign lasted long. We were first introduced, In That Me Decade, Singing your shrilling song. It took a plague, For learned counsel, To break their solemn vow. No longer can we wait, To gain word from work, We need it, here and now. Though you believe your brother, To be the cause, Of your final demise. Reality is that technology, Has found better ways, Much to all our surprise. Thy Impaired kin, May seem to be, A poor heir to your legacy, A band that is broad . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation, Technology

British Columbia Worker’s Right to Refuse Work Denied

By Daniel Standing LL.B., Editor, First Reference Inc.

In a recent decision under the British Columbia, under the Workers Compensation Act, an investigations legal officer dismissed a worker’s prohibited action complaint. The worker decided not to report to work as a bartender out of concern of contracting COVID-19. The case, reported here, examines the sufficiency of evidence required to prove a prima facie complaint. In dismissing the case, the WorkSafeBC officer clarifies the employee’s duty to be physically present at the workplace while his or her claim of unsafe working conditions is dealt with under the established procedure. . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Rift on the Supreme Court Bench? Cont’d (Fraser and G)

In my November 3rd Slaw post on the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in Fraser, I considered the division on the Court relating to the interpretation of section 15(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The majority decision, written by Abella J., emphasized a broad interpretation, stressing the significance of adverse effects discrimination and the goal of substantive equality. In their dissent, Brown and Rowe JJ. applied a narrower interpretation, as did Côté J. in her separate dissent. Now we have Ontario (Attorney General) v. G, which not only reminds us of the cleft in . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Debating the Definition of Disability

Over 500,000 individuals and their qualifying family members received the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), prior to the pandemic. Our social supports system will be even more important in the economic recovery following the pandemic. ODSP is a last resort income support paid to individuals who are disabled, as defined in s. 4(1) the of the Ontario Disability Support Program Act, 1997,

(a) the person has a substantial physical or mental impairment that is continuous or recurrent and expected to last one year or more;

(b) the direct and cumulative effect of the impairment on the person’s ability to attend

. . . [more]
Posted in: Justice Issues, Substantive Law: Legislation

Need for Privacy Reform in Ontario

With so much closed, and so little social interaction during the pandemic, there’s not many options for Canadians, as we head into the winter. It’s inevitable that many will find themselves in malls. A recent revelation that a Canadian real estate company secretly embedded cameras in 12 different malls has some concerned about the lack of meaningful consent. Cameras themselves are pretty benign, for security purposes alone. What made it worse was that images were used with facial recognition technology to identify unique facial features and analyze them, creating biometric data. Although provincial and federal privacy commissioners express concerns, they . . . [more]

Posted in: Substantive Law: Legislation

Law Reform Commission of Ireland Report on Accessibility of Legislation in the Digital Age

Law reform commission reports can be great sources for legal research. Many of the reports provide historical background and you can often find comparative information about how different jurisdictions have responded to an issue. Case in point: The Law Reform Commission of Ireland last week released a report on the Accessibility of Legislation in the Digital Age that makes a wide range of recommendations as to how legislation can be made available online in a more consolidated and comprehensive way. Chapter 3 of the report, “Comparative Approaches to Making Legislation Accessible”, considers, from an historical perspective, legislative developments that have . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information: Libraries & Research, Substantive Law: Foreign Law, Substantive Law: Legislation

Gas Pump Stickers and Compelled Speech

In my last Slaw post, I discussed Morgan J.’s decision in Canadian Civil Liberties Association v. Attorney General of Ontario (CCLA v. AG Ont.) to grant standing to the Canadian Civil Liberties Association to challenge the government’s requirement that gas station operators post a sticker on each gas pump. The standing decision stands for two major points: the CCLA’s expertise did not have to relate to the selling of gas or regulations governing it, but it was sufficient that it related to constitutional issues; and it had shown its interest by identifying its concerns to the government . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation

Possible Denial of ESA Minimums Voids Termination Clause

Lewis Waring, Paralegal and Student-at-Law, Editor, First Reference Inc.

A recent decision from Ontario’s Divisional Court illustrates an important point about the concept of notice in Ontario employment contracts. This point concerns the relation between the Employment Standards Act, 2000 (“ESA”) and Ontario common law. This important point is that employees are, by default, entitled to common law reasonable notice. Common law reasonable notice is roughly equivalent to one month of compensation for each year of employment. In comparison, minimum notice entitlements under the ESA are limited to one week per year of employment. Employers who wish to prevent their . . . [more]

Posted in: Case Comment, Substantive Law, Substantive Law: Judicial Decisions, Substantive Law: Legislation